An Analysis of Daisy's Symbolism in the Great Gatsby, a Novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer, Do. I’m Half Crazy. All for the Love of You.” Although critics accuse her of being “vulgar and inhuman” and evil, they look past the fact that Daisy represents the American Dream, Daisy is represents society during the 1920’s by perfectly embodying the values Fitzgerald mocked in The Great Gatsby through her fickleness and volatile/mercurial personality combined with an artificial depth of character/personality. The 1920’s were defined by an era of tremendous growth in wealth and social mobility for the middle class leading to a rise in consumerism and an insatiable desire for material goods, however, the increase in wealth only highlighted the disparity between the super-rich and the poor, making the American Dream seem even more unattainable.

Daisy, despite her great wealth, has not attained the other aspect of the dream, happiness. When seeing how wealthy Gatsby has become she “…

bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily…”(p.

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98) regretful of her decision to choose Tom and his money over Gatsby. She could have had money or she could have had love, but she could no longer have both. “… Gatsby is as much an ideal to Daisy as she is to him.”(Leland S. Person, Jr.) Behind the pristine facades of Gatsby and Daisy are two people aspiring for more than they already have. They’ve created an image/idea of the “perfect life” and they strive to acquire every part of it believing it will lead to happiness.

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Behind that glittery surface is nothing but insecurity and regret. Daisy is labeled the “victimizer”, but she is more the victim than anyone else. While readers dislike Daisy for acting so fickle and ruining the lives of many people either accidentally or voluntarily, she is simply a character that serves Fitzgerald’s purpose of showing the ill effects of excess wealth in changing the American Dream. When bootleggers and criminals like Gatsby can get rich, it degrades the vision of a perfect life created by hard work. The consequences of the old and new moneyed combining led to disastrous results as they introduction of this “new (almost dirty money)” pollutes the image of that the wealthy have worked hard to maintain.

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An Analysis of Daisy's Symbolism in the Great Gatsby, a Novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. (2022, Apr 19). Retrieved from

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